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2020: The Precious Present of Happiness, Health and Prosperity

Posted by Chip Block on January 1, 2020 2:40 PM EST
Chip Block photo

Quite some time ago, I was given "The Precious Present" a parable-style book written by Dr. Spencer Johnson.  The gift of "The Precious Present" was given to me by a very good lifelong friend, my college tennis coach.  Over the years, I have lost sight of the key learning from "The Precious Present".  For some reason, I was compelled to re-read it again as I thought about...

...the new year ahead, and the concept of "Focus 2020" that was shared today in Joe's blog posting.

You see, when I was first given the gift of "The Precious Present", it was early in my management career, with the whole future course of that career and the raising of a young family all ahead of me.  As the years went by, and I kept focus on the future and the actions I needed to take to be happy, healthy and prosperous when that future arrived, I lost sight of "The Precious Present".

Now that I am in the final chapter(s) of my career, seeking to reclaim the glory years of the past and remain or recover strategic relevance in the work I do, I have found myself at times looking backward at the past to find answers for helping me be happy, healthy and prosperous in the coming years, the near future.  For you see, for me now, the future is a much shorter time horizon with less obvious and traditional possibilities.  And I must confess, I again have lost touch with the gift of "The Precious Present".

Thankfully, today I picked up "The Precious Present, the book, the gift that was given to me so many years ago by a man who meant so much to me at such a critical time in my life.  And in less than thirty minutes, I re-read it.  And it has recharged my thinking about the most meaningful New Year's Day resolution that I can make for 2020...or that I can recommend to others to make for 2020.

And the resolution is this:  Give yourself the gift of the precious present.  Live, work, play and celebrate friends and family in the precious present!

I close with an exerpt from Dr. Spencer Johnson's gift, the book "The Precious Present".  And in doing so, hope and wish for you to find the happiness, health and prosperity of the precious present!


"When I Feel Guilty Over My Imperfect Past,

Or I Am Anxious Over My Uncertain Future, 

I Do Not Live In The Present.

Then, I Experience Pain.  I Make Myself Ill. 

And I Am Unhappy.

My Past Was The Present.  And My Future Will Be The Present.  The Present Moment Is The Only Reality I Ever Experience.....

The Precious Present Is Something Precious I Can Give To AND Receive From Myself.  For I Am Most Precious When I Am In The Precious Present".

There is 1 comment



Very interesting a impactful reminder of living life fully each day. living and working in the present and not letting the past or the uncertain future get in the way. Many years ago a wise person once told me that from a career wellbeing perspective, many people plan their work lives around a three stage model: early years are for "learning", middle years are for "earning" and late career is for "yearning"-for missed opportunities, better days in the past and so on. This blog from Chip sort of makes me think that model should be revised to be: early career years = "Learning"; middle career years="Earning"; and latter career years = "ReLearning Earning". By that I'm meaning that rethinking the rewards or work could translate to "Meaning Matters More Than Money".

I also observe that to some degree part of the cause of the current lack of financial preparation that has lead to sort of a retirement crisis has to do with living too much in the present and not preparing properly in the present for the future. Perhaps it's a delicate but important balance between the two?

Joe  Antle photo
Joe Antle

5 months ago

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